Reviews

The ethics of the hospitalist model

Abstract

Abstract

The hospitalist model was founded on the premise that it could improve the quality and reduce the cost of hospital care. Many randomized studies have all but definitively proven this original assertion. Nevertheless, the hospitalist specialty raises lingering classical ethical issues: protecting the patient‐physician relationship in an environment of increasing specialization and discontinuity of care, preserving patient autonomy and choice when structural changes are made in the provision of care, and ensuring that a model founded on efficiency and cost‐effectiveness does not erode the public trust in hospitalists to always serve their patients' best interests. This work aims to serve as an update of these initial criticisms, showing how some questions have been answered, while some have not. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2010;5:183–188. © 2010 Society of Hospital Medicine.